Directed byMichelangelo Antonioni
Produced byVieri Bigazzi (production manager)
CinematographyGiovanni Ventimiglia
Music byGiovanni Fusco
I.C.E.T., Milan
Distributed byLux Film
Release date
  • 1948 (1948)
Running time
11 minutes

N.U. (short for Nettezza urbana, Italian urban cleansing service)[1][2] is a 1948 Italian documentary short film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. The film examines a weekday from morning until evening of Italian road sweepers, captured at work on the streets of post-World War II Rome.


In a 1961 discussion with film students, Antonioni explained that he wanted to achieve a contrast to the then dominating neorealist documentary style with his film by use of a "poetically free montage".[3]



N.U. has been screened as part of retrospectives on Antonioni at various festivals and institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art,[5] the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive,[6] and the Cinémathèque Française.[7] It has been released on home media as part of The Criterion Collection's release of Antonioni's Red Desert.[8]


  1. ^ "Nettezza urbana". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Nettezza urbana". Treccani (in Italian). Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  3. ^ Kotulla, Theodor, ed. (1964). "Die Krankheit der Gefühle. Ein Gespräch mit Studenten des Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rom 1961". Der Film. Manifeste, Gespräche, Dokumente. Vol. 2. Munich: Piper.
  4. ^ Marrone, Gaetana, ed. (2007). Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies. Vol. 1. Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-57958-390-3. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  5. ^ "Reinventing Neorealism: Antonioni's Documentaries of the 1940s and '50s". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  6. ^ "Short Films by Michelangelo Antonioni". BAMPFA. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  7. ^ "N.U. (Nettezza urbana)". Cinémathèque Française (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  8. ^ "Red Desert". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 10 September 2023.